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Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier at the opening of ISH digital: “The building sector has a decisive role to play in achieving our climate goals”

22 Mar 2021

The sanitation and HVAC sector is meeting from today until 26 March at ISH digital 2021 – the World’s Leading Trade Fair Water, Energy, Life. At the digitally streamed opening ceremony, Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier, emphasised the vital role to be played by the building sector in achieving the climate goals and assured the sector of the active support of the German government in this connection. Altogether, the German home and building technology sector turned over € 64.11 billion in 2020, an increase of 5.3 percent compared to the year before.

High-ranking representatives from politics and business spoke about the social and economic significance of the sanitation, heating and air-conditioning sector and its themes during the opening of ISH digital 2021, the world’s leading trade fair for HVAC and water. Thus, Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmaier, said he was particularly pleased that the European Green Deal was one of the top themes of this year’s ISH digital. He said, “With the ‘Renovation Wave’, the Green Deal emphasises the building sector and has set it some highly ambitious targets for 2030. In this connection, the use of modern heating technology is a decisive factor in achieving the CO2 savings demanded. And, in Germany alone, this means an enormous modernisation requirement. The sanitation, heating and air-conditioning industry is in a strong position and very well equipped to meet these challenges.” Against the background of positive economic development in 2020, Altmaier praised the sanitation and HVAC sector for its resilience and strong corporate structures, especially in pandemic times. Assuring the sector, he added, “One thing is clear, the building sector plays a very important role when it comes to energy consumption. It can and it will make a decisive contribution to attaining our climate targets in all sectors. The German government will stand together with you as you head in this direction and actively support you in meeting the challenges that arise.”

In his statement, the Minister President of the State of Hesse, Volker Bouffier, also referred to the particular relevance of ISH. He emphasised that, “This fair is a key to our future. Water, energy and climate are the major themes that will continue to occupy us. I have great expectations of ISH. Not only for the individual companies taking part but for society as a whole because the future is to be found where innovation has its place. And what better place for this than at this renowned trade fair?”

Markus Frank, Head of the Economic Affairs Department of the City of Frankfurt am Main, referred to the process of demographic change and the need for sustainable bathroom planning, and the aspect of accessibility in particular. He said, “The latest technologies for this are to be seen at ISH – bathroom concepts that enable people to spend many years in their homes.”

Wolfgang Marzin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Messe Frankfurt, welcomed the participation of representatives of business and politics and said, “With its core themes revolving around water, energy and climate, ISH has always been a trade fair with great social relevance. And this is once again reflected by this year’s top themes, which have become even more important through the corona pandemic. Thus, highly topical issues, such as the Green Deal, ventilation technology for pure and healthy air indoors and the hygiene trend in the sanitation sector, will be discussed during ISH digital 2021”

Representatives of the sanitation, heating and air-conditioning industry, the installation trade and the start-up scene also spoke during the opening ceremony, a recording of which will be available on the ISH website at

ISH digital 2021: All set! / Source: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition
ISH digital 2021: All set! / Source: Messe Frankfurt Exhibition

2020: A good year for the home and building technology sector

The home and building technology sector proved to be highly crisis-resistant with total sales of € 64.11 billion in 2020. Thus, the heating / building automation, sanitation and air-conditioning / ventilation technology continued its dynamic record of growth from the previous three years with an increase of 5.3 percent over 2019. The reasons for this include, despite the lockdown, hardly any change in building-site productivity and new building work, which continued unabated. Further driving forces for growth was a renovation boom, as well as the impact on modernisation projects of energy-consumption regulations contained in the climate package of the German government.

373 companies from 33 countries are presenting their innovations at ISH digital 2021 until 26 March. The wide-ranging exhibitor presentations are supplemented by a variety of special shows, lecture forums, competitions, etc.

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Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. The Messe Frankfurt Group employs around 2,500* people in a total of 30 subsidiaries. The company generated annual sales of approximately €250* million in 2020. Even in difficult times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are globally networked with our industry sectors. We have close ties with our industry sectors and serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely knit global sales network, which extends throughout the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. We are expanding our digital expertise with new business models. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).

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* preliminary figures 2020